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Myringotomy With P.e. Tubes


A myringotomy is a procedure to put a tube through a hole in your eardrum. The eardrum protects your middle ear and helps you hear. Pressure equalizing (PE) tubes drain fluid from inside your ear. Over time, the tube will fall out or be removed by a healthcare provider.

Ear Anatomy


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Anesthesia:
    • Local anesthesia: This is a shot injected into your eardrum. Before the shot, your healthcare provider will put medicine on your ear to numb it. You will stay awake during the procedure. You may still feel pressure, but you should not have pain.
    • General anesthesia: This is medicine that is given in your IV or as a gas that you breathe. It will help keep you asleep during the procedure. An adult will need to drive you home and stay with you after you have had general anesthesia. Do not make important decisions, drive a car, or use heavy equipment for 24 hours after you have general anesthesia.

During your procedure:

Your healthcare provider will make an incision in your eardrum. He will drain fluid that is trapped inside your middle ear out through this hole. Your healthcare provider will put a small PE tube into the hole, and may put antibiotic drops into your ear.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest. If you were asleep for your procedure, you will stay there until you are fully awake. Do not get out of bed until healthcare providers say it is okay. When healthcare providers see that you are okay, you may go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your room.

  • Medicines:
    • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
    • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
    • Steroids: This is medicine to help decrease pain and swelling in your ear.


  • During the procedure, a nerve may be damaged, which can decrease your ability to taste. After the PE is placed, you may get an infection and pus may drain from your ear. You may have hearing loss from bleeding or scar tissue. If your PE tube falls out too soon, you may need another procedure to put in a new tube. Your eardrum may tear from the PE tube, or may not close after the tube is removed. You may need surgery to repair this.
  • If you do not have a myringotomy with a PE tube, you may keep having ear infections and pain. Fluid may build up inside your ear, and your eardrum could burst. You may have continued hearing loss.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

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